Understanding Title Insurance

Understanding Title Insurance

Title to a property is a record detailing the owners of the property and rights associated with the ownership. Title typically shows a progression of ownership from the first owner to the current one. Title is a fairly simple concept, but when it goes wrong it is a nightmare. That is where title insurance comes in, and why it’s important to understanding title insurance.

Title Insurance

Title insurance guarantees that the title on a property is marketable when you purchase the home, condo, land, etc. You should always pay for title insurance. It typically costs a few hundred dollars and will save you a bundle if problems arise.

When you buy title insurance, a title insurance company researches the title for the property. The insurance company will look to see if the title is clear. Clear simply means that the seller is truly transferring title to you and no other person can claim ownership. While this sounds fairly simple, rest assured that title problems arise all of the time.

Title Problems

You might be wondering how you could possibly have title problems. Here are a few examples:

  1. Divorcing Couples Divorce is unpleasant and sometime very ugly. In particularly nasty situations, one spouse may attempt to sell a home without telling the other. To gain clear title, you need both spouses to sign off on the sale. If you dont, you are going to become a party of the divorce proceedings. Now, wouldnt that be fun?
  2. Estate Sales If you are purchasing a house as part of an estate sale, there can be real problems. The heirs may not be getting along and in an effort to get whats mine, may try to sell the residence without including all the heirs in the transaction. If you buy this home, you could end up involved in a lawsuit filed by an heir left out of the transaction.
  3. Ingress and Egress Issues Title to a property can have technical issues related to egress and ingress. Occasionally, one finds title to a property that is so messed up that the owner doesnt have the right to enter or leave the land because to do so would require crossing another persons property. In short, the property is landlocked and something must be worked out with the neighbors. Typically, a solution comes in the form of hard, cold cashlots of it.

These are just a few issues that can arise with title. With real estate, unique issues can arise all the time.

If you buy title insurance, you dont have to worry about problems with title. If a problem arises, you calmly pick up the phone and call the title insurance company. The insurance company will come up with a solution, even if it means paying you for bad title.

Tips On Avoiding Home Safety Risks

Now that you’ve weathered the winter, the door is open for you to focus on the maintenance of your home not only the inside of your home but outside, too, making sure the house is safe and properly maintained. Doing this will help to prevent safety risks and costly repairs in the future. Therefore, here are some simple suggestions:

Inspect the deck: Wooden decks can become damaged and corroded from the harshness of winter. See if nails or screws are popping up. Clean the deck and seal it. 

Check electrical outlets and extension cords: Replace any loose-fitting plugs or frayed extension cords to prevent a fire hazard.

“Degrease” the garage: If the family car has been leaking oil or other fluids onto the garage floor all winter, now is a great time to clean it up. A greasy garage floor is slippery and potentially a fire hazard. Use nontoxic, nonflammable, biodegradable degreasers such as Simple Green. Pour the concentrate on liberally and scrub with a nylon brush. Cover the area with about an inch of kitty litter and let it sit for 24 hours. Sweep away the kitty litter for a clean floor at low cost.

Improve the yard with size in mind: Look to see how plants and trees have grown during the past year. They may be too large and could cause damage to the home’s structure. Leave enough space between the house and those baby shrubs you’re planting to allow 12″ between the plant and wall. This provides adequate ventilation and reduces the risk of future damage.

Clean the A/C: Use your garden hose to rinse off the evaporator coil fins on your A/C condenser unit. 

Check the garage door: The garage door can weigh up to 400 pounds. Springs and balancing mechanisms can fail over time, which can cause great damage to the door and harm to people around it. Now’s a good time to take a close look at the springs.

To avoid safety risks and expensive repairs down the road, it’s always a good idea to get a complete home inspection from a reputable and established company such as Pillar To Post. 

Inspect smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide detectors: Test them and change the battery every three months or as needed. Be certain there is a detector on each floor of the home.

Fake Checks

This is a great article posted on the BBB website that talks all about fake checks.

https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/18367-dont-cash-that-check-bbb-study-shows-how-fake-check-scams-bait-consumers

Mortgage Closing Scams

Summer is a busy home-buying season. If you’re in the market for a new home this year, watch out for mortgage closing scams. According to reports, the scams target homebuyers who are nearing the closing date on their mortgage loan. Learn more about closing scams from this article by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/buying-home-watch-out-mortgage-closing-scams/

 

Illinois Condo Unit Owner’s Rights & Responsibilities Handbook

The information contained in the Illinois Condo Unit Owner’s Rights & Responsibilities Handbook is a brief overview of the duties, rights, and responsibilities of Illinois unit owners in condominium developments. This information is intended to provide general information and is NOT a substitute for obtaining legal advice to address specific situations. Since this publication may not contain subsequent changes in the law, it should only be used as a general source of information.

https://www.idfpr.com/CCICO/PDFs/Condo%20Rights%20and%20Responsibilities%206.0.pdf